Design styles change throughout the years, but one thing that has been constant over many decades is the love for Victorian home styles. Even if you do not currently live in a true Victorian home, you can still achieve the look no matter what style of home you have. If you have struggled to get the Victorian-style home you have always wanted, here are 10 tips to get you started in the right direction.
Period Bed Options
When trying to achieve the Victorian style in your home, whether you own a true Victorian property or not, the best place to begin is with bedroom furniture. Antique beds can be found in secondhand stores and antique shops everywhere. Take your time to look for wrought iron beds. Some can be simply styled while others can be more ornate, but iron was a highly used material within these homes due to its strength and durability.
Use Rugs Throughout
Victorian style homes did not traditionally have carpets installed. Instead, flooring was limited to wood, slate, or beautiful antique tiles, so to add warmth to spaces, dedicated runners or area rugs were often used. Traditional floral patterns tend to work well with the Victorian era, but feel free to experiment with different weaved materials. The beauty of area rugs is that they can be easily taken out to clean or changed whenever your mood changes while adding a sense of comfort and warmth.
Fabrics and Comfort Throughout
Upholstery from the Victorian era was sometimes quite ornate and overly elaborate, and floral fabrics were all the rage. When designing your home with the Victorian era in mind, never neglect to place florals throughout the space. Fabrics on chairs, sofas, and even comfortable blankets around the home will emphasise comfort while taking into consideration the preferred fabrics of the time.
An Emphasis on Colour
The Victorian era was an age the embraced colour. Colours and patterns from that time period were most notably influenced by other cultures, including China for their regard for beautiful ornate tapestry work. Although ancient tapestries may be very difficult to come by, artists still exist that practice this art. If you are not intent on investing time and effort in an actual artist, period pieces can sometimes be found in second hand shops and antique stores.
For those decorating their home on a budget, large, solid, iron beds and heavy ornamental furnishings can be difficult to acquire. The solution here is wicker. Wicker furnishings were common in Victorian homes as the furniture remained light, yet durable, while offering ample seating. Wicker beds work well in a bedroom and wicker chairs and love seats can make a porch feel just like home.
According to Maitland & Poate, a family-run London based business which grew from a love of old Spanish encaustic tiles, homes today place little value on frames surrounding art and family pictures, but the Victorian era was an age of gilded beauty in which every part of the home was to be fashionable. They invested much into their furnishings and embellishments and that included much cherished and ornate picture frames. Frames throughout a true Victorian home would be primarily painted gold featuring intricate carvings. Artisan frames featuring gold embellishment bring a new level of luxury to any aspiring Victorian style home.
Lace used to be a fabric considered to be for the wealthy elite. The artistry involved in true lace production is highly regarded among designers even today and Victorian homes would have lace attributes throughout the home. Lace table cloths, doilies, and tablecloths beautifully trimmed then situated around the room offer a homage to the Victorian age. When shopping for lace ideally the more original vintage pieces with intricate design the better.
Wallpaper is a subject that a homeowner either loves or hates. We love the way it looks when perfectly installed, but it can be a true pain to remove. If you want to invest in the Victorian style, wallpaper is a must-have. Wallpapers depicting period colours and patterns including florals and vibrant shades, as already discussed earlier were a classic staple of the time and also embossed with gold inlay styling.
A bathroom is not just a bathroom any longer and during the Victorian era, even though modern conveniences were not generally part of the equation, people still invested much into the most used room in the home. For those that truly want to embrace the Victorian style, the bathroom is an excellent place to begin. Ornate gold hardware throughout the space such as door handles and faucets are an essential to include. Also, never forget the need for period pieces including free standing sinks with scalloped edging and a clawfoot tub.
Some attributes of a true Victorian style home can be purchased with the use of modern materials, but antique tiles are not one of them. True antique tiles have a certain feel and look that simply cannot be matched by today’s mass produced machined tile options. Antique tiles are true beauties due to their original hand crafted nature. Machinery to produce tiles quickly and in mass had not yet been invented in the Victorian era. Therefore, tiles were each a piece of artwork in their own right with slight differences and variations to show their artisan origins.
Reclaimed tiles are not merely an average floor covering, but one that nods back to a time where artistry outshined the need for fast production. Tiles from the Victorian era were most notably made from ceramic and cement that proved durable enough to stand the test of time. If you intend on purchasing your antique tiles from just anywhere, you will ultimately be disappointed. Not everyone sells these small pieces of history, so your source should be a trusted one.